Magog bid for licence opposed

Shagger not a suitable manager

TARYN UTIGER
Last updated 05:00 19/08/2014
Russell
ANDY JACKSON

Club president Russell "Shagger" Gilmer

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The Magog Motorcycle Club is going head-to-head with the police over liquor licences again.

Just months after the club was nearly forced to cancel its 40th anniversary at Peggy Gordon's Celtic Bar, the police have now opposed another Magog event.

This time the event is a meeting of about 16 people, at the Magog clubrooms, scheduled for this Saturday from 1pm until 5pm.

The club has applied for a special licence so it can sell alcohol at the four hour meeting.

The afternoon meeting was for members of the club to discuss forming a committee to set up a major motorcycle event in New Plymouth, club president Russell "Shagger" Gilmer said.

However, police have opposed the special licence and have said despite having a bar manager's licence Gilmer was not a suitable manager.

At a District Licensing Committee hearing held at the New Plymouth District Council yesterday Sergeant Cheryl McGrath said Gilmer lacked the prerequisite knowledge and was also facing a charge before the courts of obstructing the course of justice.

"I'll be honest, police are not opposed to the event," McGrath said. "But are you in the position to come up with a competent, experienced manager?" she asked Gilmer.

However, Gilmer rebutted her comments and said as he was yet to be tried on the charge he was entitled to be considered innocent unless proven guilty.

He said he had successfully managed 80 special licence events in the past 20 years and there had never been any concerns raised about his competence in the past.

While he had not been a bar manager for an event in the past 10 years, he had kept his licence up to date and continued to pay to be a manager, so he should therefore have the right to manage this four-hour event, he said.

"It will give me the ability to update myself on the Alcohol Act," he said. However, McGrath argued that Gilmer had not sat a bridging test between the old act and the new Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012.

She also said Gilmer had been issued four speeding tickets since the issuing of his manager's certificate.

That called in his ability to comply with the law and exercise responsibilities attached to a manager's certificate, she said.

District licensing commissioner Alex Matheson reserved his decision which will be released this week.

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